Subscribe: by Email | in Reader

Harp Song of the Dane Women -- Rudyard Kipling

(Poem #143) Harp Song of the Dane Women
What is a woman that you forsake her,
And the hearth-fire and the home-acre,
To go with the old grey Widow-maker?

She has no house to lay a guest in---
But one chill bed for all to rest in,
That the pale suns and the stray bergs nest in.

She has no strong white arms to fold you,
But the ten-times-fingering weed to hold you---
Out on the rocks where the tide has rolled you.

Yet, when the signs of summer thicken,
And the ice breaks, and the birch-buds quicken,
Yearly you turn from our side, and sicken---

Sicken again for the shouts and the slaughters.
You steal away to the lapping waters,
And look at your ship in her winter-quarters.

You forget our mirth, and talk at the tables,
The kine in the shed and the horse in the stables---
To pitch her sides and go over her cables.

Then you drive out where the storm-clouds swallow,
And the sound of your oar-blades, falling hollow,
Is all we have left through the months to follow.

Ah, what is Woman that you forsake her,
And the hearth-fire and the home-acre,
To go with the old grey Widow-maker ?
-- Rudyard Kipling
This poem pretty much speaks for itself - I could rhapsodize about the
compelling rhythms, the unusual rhyme-scheme, the evocative imagery; but
I won't. I will say, however, that 'the pale suns and the stray bergs
nest in' is an utterly beautiful image.


Kipling: See Poem #17, Poem #29 and Poem #43

PS. Lovely, lovely poem - t.

50 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Levana Taylor said...

This poem was very effectively set to music by Gordon Bok, recorded on his
album "Schooners".


Uri And/Or Talya said...

this song appear at the first page of ¨the Long Ships¨ by Frans Gunnar
Bengtsson which is the best account of how the vikings of the era lived and
died, the whole of the book once read can indeed be summerized by this short
poem, indeed I think I failed to understand it in its fullest untill I read
the book.

Uri & Talya Do Central America !

Lee Chiu San said...

I majored in English literature, and came across another version of this poem then, but that was almost half a century ago. I was also a motorcycle racer and held an International Grand Prix racing license.

Today, I run a car dealership that is part of an international conglomerate, and get involved in mergers and (sometimes hostile) acquisitions.

Not exactly the peaceful kind of part-time work that people are sometimes called out of retirement to do.

There is a divide between the poetic and arty types, and those on the other extreme, exemplified by those who still ride big motorcycles (cops sometimes very politely say to me "Grandpa, you should not go so fast").

This poem by Kipling exemplifies why Vikings go on raids, and why, even today, men do dangerous things. It's not just for the money.

It's the spice without which life would be tasteless.

By the way, Kipling also wrote a novel "The Man Who Would Be King" based loosely upon the exploits of a real-life American who set himself up as a king in a province of Afghanistan.

I live in Singapore, which is not far from Borneo, and a century ago, a British adventurer, James Brooke, actually set up a kingdom in the state of Sarawak there. This dynasty of the White Rajahs lasted till the Second World War, when his grand-nephew voluntarily ceded his country to the British empire.

Yes, poets express our dreams. We try to live them, and some turn out to be more fantastic than reality.

Lee Chiu-San

My new e-mail address is

D. Bruce Dickson said...

Hitchens is right. This is arguably the greatest anti-war poem ever
written. D. B. Dickson

JehangirsSchool said...


I was trawling the net for some info on Harp Song Of The Dane Women. I
teach the poem to young adults and always interpreted the shouts and
slaughters to mean that the sailors were whalers who would stay out all
summer, processing the whale blubber at sea and returning only during
the winters.

One of the examiners who test our students seemed to think
that the reference was t the ancient Vikings.

Would appreciate any links you could send me on the subject
ocz you seem to think the same way as I do.

Nosherwan Jehangir
Jehangirs School Of Speech & Drama

evans said...

I was a merchant seaman for 30 years, and this poem sums up going to sea. Leaving the woman you love behind. It was never easy that part of a seaman's life.
Gerry Evans
New Zealand

Allen. C. Roffey said...

I first came across this wonderful work quoted in Arthur Clarke's 2010, Sea,
Space, there now seem to be such similarities, wonder if astronaut's wives
feel the same.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I thought it was about the sealers, perhaps also whalers, who went to the Artic Islands north of of Norway for sea mammal oil, seal hides. This oil was a vital necessity to live in northern lands,for nutrition, and oil to light your living room, in the days before margerine and kerosene and electricity for lamps.

Raven. said...

The poem is to be found in the Penguin version of 'Puck of Pooks's Hill' also by Rudyard Kipling. I've always though it was about the Viking era with the harp being popular then and the Dane women is self explanatory since some of the Vikings came from Denmark as well as other parts of Scandinavia :-)

Harga Jual Blackberry iPhone Laptop Murah said...

Harga Jual Blackberry iPhone Laptop Murah - I first came across this wonderful work quoted in Arthur Clarke's 2010, Sea,
Space, there now seem to be such similarities, wonder if astronaut's wives
feel the same.

By: Harga Jual Blackberry iPhone Laptop Murah

Meriahkan pesta ulang tahun bersama GarudaFood said...

Great stuff from you. I've read your stuff before and you're just too awesome. I love what you've got here, love what you're saying and the way you say it. You make it entertaining and you still manage to keep it smart. I cant wait to read more from you. This is really a great blog. You also can read the latest info on Harga Jual Blackberry iPhone Laptop Murah or Meriahkan pesta ulang tahun bersama GarudaFood. thank's

Meriahkan pesta ulang tahun bersama GarudaFood, Harga Jual Blackberry iPhone Laptop Murah, Mp3, Beauty and Health or Meriahkan pesta ulang tahun bersama GarudaFood.

bigger penis said...

penis enlargement, penis enlargement pills, male enhancement, male enhancement pills

Penis enlargement pills have been proven is the best way to make the penis bigger and effective to increase men’s sexual performance.vimax pills, vigrx plus, prosolution pills, maleextra

Unknown said...

Thank you, I’ve just been searching for information about this topic for a while and yours is the greatest I’ve discovered till now. Home cleaning | Hotel | But, what in regards to the conclusion? Are you sure concerning the supply?

Anonymous said...

A personal credit line money enhance fee is that the fee auto title loans online obligatory once you confiscate a money enhance against your borrowing limit. (the borrowing limit out there for day advances to boot} below that for purchases.)

Ice Dragon said...

Bạn muốn ship hàng nội thành hà nội hay ship hàng nội thành tphcm. Hãy đến thử sử dụng dịch vụ của chúng tôi.
Vì sao bạn nên chọn chúng tôi? Vì chúng tôi có kinh nghiệm trong lĩnh vực này, chúng tôi làm việc theo 1 quy trình nghiêm ngặt. Ngoài 2 dịch vụ kể trên chúng tôi còn nhận gửi hàng đi đà nẵng, gửi hàng đi Hà Nội. Ngoài ra chúng tôi còn có các dịch bốc xếp hàng hóa cho thuê kho bãi, nếu bạn cần thuê kho ở trung tâm tphcm hãy sử dịch vụ cho thuê kho quận 10 của chúng tôi.

Obat kuat said...

Berikut kami akan membahas tentang bagai mana cara memperbesar penis dengan hasil cepat dan aman tanpa operasi

jika anda ingin memperbesar penis dengan hasil cepat,aman tanpa operasi itu mudah anda bisa pilih cara memperbesar penis dengan salah satu obat pembesar penis herbal seperti Neosize xl | obat Vimax | Vigrx Plus original

jika anda riskan konsumsi obat pembesar penis anda bisa pilih jalan lain seperti metode trapi ( pemakaian luar ) kami juga punya solusinya anda harus punya alat pembesar penis sejenis vacum penis atau Vimax Extender dan Pro Extender

Berikut penjelasan kami :

Apa Neosize Xl itu : Neosize Xl

Apa Vimax Asli itu : Vimax Asli Canada

Apa Vigrx Plus itu : Vigrx Plus

Apa Vacum Penis Itu : Vacum Penis

Apa Vimax Extender itu : Vimax Extender Asli

Apa Pro Extender itu : Pro Extender

Sekarang anda bisa tau rahasia cara memperbesar penis dengan aman tanpa operasi.selamat mencoba.

Obat pembesar penis said...

kini kami akan bahas tentang kesehatan dan kecantikan perawatan tubuh maupun pengobatan secara alami :

Berikut : obat peninggi badan

Berikut : obat pembesar payudara

Berikut : cara merontokan bulu permanen

Berikut : obat pelangsing badan

Berikut : cara sehat alami

Berikut : cara mempercantik wajah dan tubuh

Berikut : obat penggemuk badan

Berikut : cara mengobati ejakulasi dini

Berikut : Obat penyubur seperma

Berikut : penis bendera

Berikut : Alat Pembesar Payudara

Berikut : Viagra

Berikut : perangsang wanita

Berikut : alat bantu sex pria

Berikut : alat bantu sex wanita

Berikut : boneka full body

Berikut : Cara memperbesar penis

Berikut : Oil pembesar penis

Berikut : Celana Hernia

Berikut : vimax original

Berikut : ciri vimax asli

Berikut : Obat Kuat Sex Pria


Anonymous said...

Vitamin telah diketahui tidak berguna untuk mencegah kanker, walaupun tingkat yang rendah dari vitamin D berhubungan dengan peningkatan resiko kanker. Apakah ini merupakan sebab akibat dan suplemen vitamin D bersifat melindungi tidak pernah dinyatakan. Suplemen Beta-Carotene telah diketahui meningkatkan kanker paru-paru pada mereka yang beresiko tinggi. Asam folat telah diketahui tidak berguna untuk mencegah kanker usus, bahkan justru menuingkatkan terjadinya polip pada usus besar. Tidak jelas apakah suplemen selenium mempunyai efek pengobatan/pencegahan. selain itu, seiring dengan perkembangan jaman, kini pengobatan penyakit ini sudah banyak di lakukan secara herbal, salah satunya dengan menggunakan produk ziirzax dan typhogell, dan untuk info lebih lengkap, silahkan baca spesifikasi produk obat kanker ziirzax dan typhogell.

Anonymous said...

Seberat apapun beban masalah yang kamu hadapi saat ini, percayalah bahwa semua itu tidak pernah melebihi batas kemampuan kamu.

Unknown said...

Chúng tôi cung cấp dịch vụ bốc xếp hàng hóa
– Bốc xếp vật dụng phục vụ việc chuyển nhà, văn phòng
– Bốc xếp hàng hóa tại kho, cảng, bến bãi
– Bốc xếp hàng hóa phục vụ cho việc lắp đặt thiết bị

Add: 77/44 Bờ Bao Tân Thắng, P. Sơn Kỳ, Quận Tân Phú, TPHCM

Post a Comment